Singapore: Singapore has agreed to host its Formula One grand prix for another five years until 2017 after concluding lengthy negotiations for a contract extension, officials said on Saturday.
"We're all here for another five years," said Formula One rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone, who announced the deal along with Singapore trade and industry minister S. Iswaran.
High costs have caused friction for several hosts of Formula One, which has expanded aggressively from its traditional European domain with seven races in the Asia-Pacific region this season.
"It was difficult for me to negotiate. He's not easy to deal with and I can't understand why he was complaining about us using the streets and wearing out the streets," joked Ecclestone. "But we eventually got there and I'm very, very happy."
In one of the sport's most spectacular settings, the street track snakes through the shimmering skyscrapers along the harbourside of the wealthy Asian financial hub.
But Ecclestone remained coy on whether Singapore, whose stock exchange will host an intended share flotation by Formula One, had managed to negotiate a cheaper race fee.
"I always believe these questions shouldn't be asked," he said, when pressed on the contract's price-tag. "A gentleman should never speak about money and last night."